By Brooks Flynn
Guest blogger, Philips Consumer Electronics
What connections do I need on my new HDTV?
Neilson recently published a study that reports out of 112.8 million U.S. homes with televisions, only about 12.7 million actually carry at least one HD channel. HDTV owners oftentimes don’t even know if they are receiving an HD signal. Furthermore most consumers don’t understand what settings to adjust for the best high-definition picture. Whether your new HDTV is sitting in your living room or you’re waiting to purchase it this holiday season, it’s important to know some basic connection tips to ensure you get what you paid for.
In the past, people didn’t pay much attention to the jacks on the back of a TV. Today, those connections are increasingly important, not only to help optimize the picture, but also to ensure you buy a TV equipped with technology that will be useful for years to come as you continue to build your home theater.
Let’s start with the HDMI connection – something you definitely want on your set. HDMI stands for “High Definition Multimedia Interface.” This is the latest connection available and it allows you to get the most intense, HD experience from any HD capable device. When you use the HDMI input, you’re getting an “all digital” signal from your HD device to your TV, which allows for the sharpest picture possible.
HDMI connections are capable of carrying all current HD resolutions, including 1080p which is the native format on new HD disc formats like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. Read here to learn more about HD resolution: high definition
In addition to an amazing picture, the HDMI cable also carries multi-channel digital sound! Carrying both digital video and audio makes the HDMI connection simple to set up because it is only one cable (no more red, yellow, white). There’s no chance of getting the connections flipped around. The only real downside of HDMI is that the cables are still kind of expensive, ranging from about $30 for a 3 ft. cable to $50 for a 10 ft. cable. Comparatively, you can get component cables for around $6 for 3 ft and $15 for 10 ft. My advice is to only use this connection for true High Definition devices (not upscaling DVD players) or if you want the simplicity of using one cable to connect entertainment devices to your TV.
For a more detailed description of video connections, and to see what they look like, check out this Philips clip on YouTube.
I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about the HDMI connection if you leave them in the comments section below.
Stay tuned for the next post in this series: “Connection Tip” on component video input (CVI).